Wednesday, May 29, 2024
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MLB ALCS | Game 4 Preview: Houston Astros (1-2) at Texas Rangers (2-1)

Texas lead the series 2-1


ALCS GAME 4: The Astros and Rangers will play Game 4 of the 2023 American League Championship Series tonight with the Astros looking to even the series at two games apiece… starting tonight for Houston will be postseason veteran RHP José Urquidy, who worked 5.2 innings (2ER) in the Astros series-clinching win in Game 4 of the ALDS vs. MIN…he’ll be opposed by a familiar foe in LHP Andrew Heaney, who’s already pitched four times this season against the Astros, going 1-0 with a 2.75 ERA (6ER/19.2IP).

BIG GAME PITCHER: RHP José Urquidy is again pitching in the postseason tonight, which he’s done 13 times in his career, making seven starts, and posting a 4-2 record and a 3.64 ERA (17ER/42IP)…he’s pitched in several huge games in his career and has a similar outing to tonight in his history…he started Game 4 of the 2019 World Series at WSH, with the Astros trailing 2-1 in the series, and spun 5.0 scoreless innings en route to earning the series-tying win.

FAMILIAR FOE: LHP Andrew Heaney has spent eight of his 10 Major League seasons in the AL West and has matched up against the Astros in 15 career starts, going 4-4 with a 3.35 ERA (30ER/80.2IP) opposite Houston…2B Jose Altuve (37 AB) and 3B Alex Bregman (35 AB) rank first and second in career at-bats against the lefty…Altuve (.324, 12×37, 2HR) and Bregman (.314, 11×35, HR, 6RBI) are joined by CF Mauricio Dubón (.33, 4×12, HR) and 1B Jose Abreu (.263, 5×19, 4HR, 9RBI) in having career success opposite Heaney.

WHERE WE STAND: The Astros dropped the first two games of this series before winning Game 3…historically, teams that win Game 3 after falling behind 2-0 in a seven-game postseason series have gone on to win the series 13 of 50 times (26%)… the last team to do so was the 2020 Dodgers, who dispatched the Braves in a seven-games NLCS.

ABOUT LAST NIGHT: The Astros picked up a much-needed victory last night, downing the Rangers by a score of 8-5 in Game 3 of the American League Championship Series…the Astros offense came to play, as the club hammered out 12 hits and scored in five of the nine innings…DH Yordan Alvarez (2×4, 2RBI) and C Martín Maldonado (2×4, 2RBI) drove in two apiece, while 2B Jose Altuve hammered his 25th career postseason homer…postseason legend RHP Cristian Javier (2ER/5.2IP) was up to his old tricks, as he stymied the Rangers offense, holding them hitless through the first 4.2 innings en route to earning the win…RHP Ryan Pressly picked up the save with a scoreless 9th inning.

ROAD WARRIORS: Including a 3-0 record this postseason, the Astros have gone 54-30 (.643) on the road this season, which ranks as the best road record in the Majors…additionally, the Astros are 17-3 in their last 20 road games…among AL teams in road games in the regular season, the Astros led the AL in runs per game (5.70), HR (130), batting average (.268), OBP (.337), SLG (.460) and OPS (.798).

HOME AWAY FROM HOME: The Astros are 7-1 in their eight games at Globe Life Field this season and have won six straight at the venue…the offense has been the story, with the club combining to hit .323 with 24 homers and a 1.015 OPS, while averaging 8.9 runs per game (71 runs)…leading the charge has been 2B Jose Altuve, who’s hit .324 with eight homers in his eight games in Arlington in 2023.

COMING UP BIG: 2B Jose Altuve, who will play in his 100th career postseason game tonight, is all over MLB’s career postseason leaderboards, as he enters tonight ranking second in postseason history in homers (25), third in runs (82), fourth in hits (109), fourth in extra-base hits (43) and eighth in RBI (51)…all-time postseason rankings below:


  1. Yadier Molina 104 1. Derek Jeter 111
    T7. Jose Altuve 99 2. Bernie Williams 83
    T7. Tino Martinez 99 3. Jose Altuve 82

AIR YORDAN: LF Yordan Alvarez is hitting .407 (11×27) with two doubles, six homers, 10 RBI, 11 runs scored and a 1.615 OPS in seven games this postseason…a few notes on his postseason:

  • Alvarez now has 12 career postseason homers, the most by a Cuban-born player in Major League history.
  • he has two multi-homer games, becoming the first player in Astros history and sixth player in Major League history with two multi-homer games in a single postseason.
  • his six homers already tie as the third-highest total for a single postseason in franchise history, last reached by SS Carlos Correa in 2020…the franchise record for a single season is eight, hit by CF Carlos Beltrán in 2004.
  • per OptaSTATS, the Astros are 18-2 (.900) in postseason games when Alvarez records an RBI…only one other MLB player has a .900+ career winning percentage in the postseason when driving in a run (min. 20 games): Lou Gehrig (also 18-2).

GOLD GLOVE FINALISTS: Prior to last night’s game, 3B Alex Bregman, UT/2B Mauricio Dubón and RF Kyle Tucker were each named finalists for the 2023 Rawlings Gold Glove Awards at their respective positions…the winners will be announced at 5:30 p.m. CT. on Sunday, Nov. 5 on ESPN.

THE UNTOUCHABLE: RHP Cristian Javier has allowed a .071 (5×70) opponent batting average in his four career postseason starts, which is by far the lowest opponent batting average by a starter with four-plus postseason starts in MLB history… ranking second to Javier is RHP Blue Moon Odom, who posted a .120 (10×83) opponent average in four career postseason starts, all coming for Oakland in 1972.

THE KING: RHP Ryan Pressly is 14-for-14 in career postseason save opportunities, giving him the most postseason saves in Astros club history, and giving him the fifth-most saves in MLB postseason history…Pressly did not allow an earned run in 11.0 innings last postseason, and has not allowed an earned run in each of his last 19 postseason appearances (20.2IP)… he’s allowed just one unearned run in that span.

LAST START – 10/11 AT MIN (ALDS GM 4): picked up the winning decision in the Astros ALDS-clinching victory at Target Field…allowed 2 runs on 3 hits through 5.2 innings with 1 walk and 6 strikeouts…set his single-game career postseason highs in strikeouts and innings pitched.

START IT UP: rejoined the Astros rotation after getting a spot start on 9/29 at ARI and had one of his finest starts of the year, tossing 6.0 scoreless innings with 2 strikeouts while allowing just 2 hits…got the winning decision as the Astros won their series opener at Chase Field en route to a sweep to seal the AL West Division title…the 6.0 innings matched his season high and the 2 hits matched his season-low…has gone 2-0 with a 1.54 ERA (2ER/11.2IP) and .132 opponent’s batting average (5×38) over his last 2 starts, including Game 4 of the ALDS at MIN.

ABOUT URQUIDY: strike-thrower began the season in the Astros rotation and was shifted to a mostly-relief role directly following his reinstatement from the IL.

  • had a 3-month stint on the IL (May 1-Aug. 6) with right shoulder discomfort…has pitched in parts of 5 seasons (2019-23) for the Astros, making 79 career regular season appearances (70 starts)…had up-and-down results as a starter, going 3-3 with a 5.01 ERA (26ER/46.2IP), .268 opponent’s batting average and 1.46 WHIP…the Astros went 5-5 in his starts this season.
  • last name is pronounced “urr-KEE-dee”

POSTSEASON URQUIDY: has pitched in 13 postseason games, making 7 starts, to a 4-2 record and a 3.64 ERA (17ER/42IP)…3 of his 4 wins have come in World Series play, 1 win in 2019 and two in 2021.

  • has the 3rd-most career postseason wins among Mexican-born players, trailing LHP Julio Urías (8) and LHP Fernando Valenzuela (4).
  • has made 4 career appearances (2 starts) in the ALCS…last appeared in the ALCS with a start in Game 3 of the 2021 ALCS at BOS.
  • holds numerous postseason records of foreign-born players…leads all foreign-born players in MLB history with 3 World Series wins…has gone 3-0 with a 1.23 ERA (2ER/14.2 IP) in 5 World Series games…also just the 2nd Mexican-born player to receive a winning decision as a starter in the World Series, joining LHP Fernando Valenzuela (LAD, ‘81).

VS. TEX: is set to make his first appearance of the season vs. the Rangers…has pitched to positive results vs. the AL West rival throughout his career, going 5-0 with a 2.82 ERA (14ER/44.2IP) in 7 starts.

  • has displayed his strong command in his career vs. the Rangers, averaging 0.81 BB/9IP (4BB/44.2IP)…is the 2nd-lowest BB/9IP average all-time for an opponent vs. the Rangers (min. 40 IP).
  • set to make his 4th career start at Globe Life Field…has gone 1-0 with a 2.84 ERA (6ER/19IP) and a .197 opponent’s batting average (14×71) in his starts at the venue.

URQUIDY’S ADVANCED METRICS: per Baseball Savant, has held opponent’s to an 86.6 mph average velocity, which is the lowest average exit velocity amongst Astros starters…among all Astros pitchers, trails only Phil Maton (84.5) and Hector Neris (86.5) in average exit velocity.

  • averaged a spin rate of 2,697 rpm with his curveball this season, which was the highest mark of his career…ranked in the 77th percentile of Major League hurlers in that category.

MINOR LEAGUE ACTION: made 4 rehab appearances on his way back to the Major League rotation… combined to post a 4.50 ERA (7ER/14IP) with 11 strikeouts in his 4 outings…began at Triple A Sugar Land on July 14 and started twice for the Space Cowboys…his final 2 starts came for Double A Corpus Christi at San Antonio.

SIGNING DAY: was originally signed by the Astros as an international free agent from Mexico on March 2, 2015…is 1 of 11 Mexican-born players to appear in a game with the Astros and has pitched more innings than any other Mexican-born pitcher in franchise history… Is 1 of 11 Mexican-born players to appear in at least 1 game for the Astros and is 1 of 7 pitchers…has pitched more innings (405.0) as an Astro than any other Mexican-born player, besting RHP Aurelio Lopez, who pitched 116.0 innings for the Astros in the 1986-87 seasons.

WINS AND LOSSES: The Rangers lost last night for the 1st time in the 2023 postseason, snapping a franchise-best 7-G postseason win streak that covered this year’s ALWC G1-2 at TB, ALDS G1-2-3 at/vs. BAL, and ALCS G1-2 at HOU…it surpassed the previous longest postseason win streak in Rangers history, a 5-0 span in 2011 (ALDS G2-3-4 vs. TB + ALCS G1-2 vs. DET).

  • Last night was the Rangers’ 1st loss since the regular season finale on 10/1 at SEA (1-0 defeat), a loss which allowed Houston to claim the division title despite the clubs having the same record to end the year (90-72)… Texas had gone 16 days (10/2-17) without losing…it was the club’s 1st loss in the postseason since 2016 ALDS G3 at TOR.
  • The Rangers’ 7 wins remain tied with PHI for most in the 2023 postseason, as both club’s are 7-1 entering today’s contests.
  • The Rangers’ 7-G win streak was T5th-longest in MLB history in a single postseason, as only longer win streak in one year is 8 games, done 4 times by 2004 BOS, 2005 CWS, 2014 KC, and 2019 WSH.
  • The 2023 Rangers were just the 6th team in MLB history to win 7-or-more straight to open a postseason…the 7-0 run to open the 2023 postseason was T2nd-longest such win streak in MLB history, as only 2014 KC (8-0) had begun a postseason with a longer win streak.

ALCS IN ARLINGTON: Last night’s Game 3 was just the Rangers’ 2nd home game in the 2023 postseason: 7-1 win in ALDS G3 vs. BAL, and 8-5 loss in last night’s ALCS G3 vs. HOU…Texas has now played 2 home games in the last 24 days (9/25-10/18).

  • Rangers’ 10-5 (.667) all-time record in LCS play is tied for the highest win pct. in MLB history among teams with multiple appearances (Montreal/ Washington is 6-3, .667 in LCS play).
  • Rangers are 10-17 (.370) all-time in postseason home games, the 3rd-lowest home win pct. of any franchise in MLB history to COL (.300, 3-7) and CHC (.350, 21-39)…TEX has lost 6 of 7 at home, but is 10-10 in Arlington beg. with 2010 ALCS G2 vs. NYY, this after losing 1st 7 home playoff games in franchise history.
  • Texas is 5-2 all-time in ALCS home games, with last night’s Game 3 loss snapping a 5-G win streak in such contests, only prior loss being club’s 1st-ever ALCS game: 2010 ALCS G1 vs. NYY.

ALCS UPDATE: Texas has a 2-games-to-1 lead in this best-of-7 ALCS vs. HOU…some notes on the current situation ahead of Game 4:

  • According to Elias Sports Bureau, teams leading a best-of-7 series by a 2-1 margin entering Game 4 have gone on to win the series 104 of 148
    times (.703).
  • Elias says that teams leading best-of-7 series by a 2-1 margin while hosting Game 4 have gone on to win the series 43 of 68 times (.632).
  • Teams taking a 2-0 lead on the road in a 7-game series have gone on to win 24 of 28 times (85.7%), including 13 of 14 times (92.9%) in the LCS… the only team to lose an LCS after taking a 2-0 road lead was the 2020 Braves (vs. Dodgers), that series taking place at a neutral site here at GLF.

GAME 4: The Rangers are 4-4 all-time in Game 4 of postseason series, losing most recent instance (8-4 loss in 2015 ALDS G4 vs. TOR), but winning 3 of the last 4 and 4 of the last 6…Rangers are just 1-4 all-time in Game 4’s in Arlington, lone win being 2011 WS G4 vs. STL, which was a memorable Derek Holland start (8.1 SHO IP)…tonight marks the 1st time the Rangers will ever host an ALCS Game 4 in Arlington, as previous 2 were on the road – both wins (2010 ALCS G4 at NYY, 2011 ALCS G4 at DET).

  • On this date in 2010 (10/19/10), Rangers won ALCS G4 at NYY, a 10-3 victory which gave Texas a 3-games-to-1 lead in the series en route to the club’s 1st-ever A.L. pennant.

GLOBE LIFE FIELD: Tonight’s Game 4 of this ALCS will be the Rangers’ 3rd postseason game ever at Globe Life Field (1-1), the others a 7-1, series-clinching win in 2023 ALDS G3 vs. BAL on 10/10, and last night’s 8-5 loss in ALCS G3 vs. HOU…those 2 games are the Rangers’ only home
contests in the past 24 days.

  • GLF hosted 16 games in the 2020 postseason (NLDS, NLCS, WS), the most at any single venue in one postseason in MLB history.

BIG CROWD: The ALCS Game 3 attendance of 42,368 was a sellout and the largest crowd for a Rangers game in Globe Life Field history (2020-23)…it was well beyond the previous record of 40,861 for ALDS G3 vs. BAL on 10/10 …there have now been 5 crowds in GLF history that have exceeded 40K, all in 2023, each of the postseason games this month, along with the top 3 regular season crowds: 7/22 vs. LAD (40,738), 7/1 vs. HOU (40,380), and 4/29 vs. NYY (40,027).

JUNG-LE CAT: Josh Jung had 2 HR and 4 RBI last night, becoming the 5th player (1st rookie) in Rangers franchise history with a postseason multiHR game (see chart)…the only other Ranger with a multi-HR postseason game in Arlington was Nelson Cruz (2011 ALCS G2)…it was just the 4th
postseason multi-HR game ever at Globe Life Field, the 1st by a Ranger (see chart)…other notes on Jung:

  • Jung became the 11th rookie all-time with a postseason multi-HR game… Jung and MIN’s Royce Lewis (2 HR in ALWC G1 vs. TOR) are the 2nd pair of rookies to have multi-HR games in a single postseason, joining HOU’s Carlos Correa and NYM’s Michael Conforto in 2015.
  • Jung has 3 of the 5 postseason HR by Texas rookies (3-Jung, 1-Moreland, 1-Carter), and his 3 HR lead all Rangers this postseason (3-Jung,
    2-García, 1-6 players tied).
  • Jung’s 4 RBI set a Rangers rookie record for a postseason game (prev. 3 RBI by Mitch Moreland in 2010 WS G3 vs. SF).
  • Jung’s team-high 7 XBH in this postseason are the most by a Rangers rookie in a single postseason and tied for most by a rookie in his 1st 8 career postseason games with Jeremy Peña and Evan Longoria (credit MLB’s Sarah Langs).

Series/Game/Opp. Batter HR Result
1996 ALDS G2 at NYY Juan Gonzalez 2 L, 5-4 (12)
2010 ALCS G4 at NYY Josh Hamilton 2 W, 10-3
2011 ALDS G3 at TB Adrian Beltre 3 W, 4-3
2011 ALCS G2 vs. DET Nelson Cruz 2 W, 7-3 (11)
2023 ALCS G3 vs. HOU Josh Jung 2 L, 5-8
Series/Game/Opp. Batter Team HR Result
2020 NLCS G4 vs. LAD Marcell Ozuna ATL 2 W, 10-2
2020 NLCS G5 at ATL Corey Seager TEX 2 W, 7-3
2020 WS G2 at LAD Brandon Lowe TB 2 W, 6-4
2023 ALCS G3 vs. HOU Josh Jung TEX 2 L, 5-8

ROOF STATUS, OPEN: The roof is scheduled to be open for tonight’s ALCS G4 at Globe Life Field…each of the last 59 games played at GLF beginning 6/2 (57 reg. season, 2 postseason) have been played with the roof closed…this will be the 1st open-air game in Arlington since 5/21 vs. COL, which was the last of the Rangers’ 11 regular season home games with the roof open in 2023…a separate sheet listing all games with the roof open in GLF history can be found in the press box.

ASSIST(S) FROM CARTER: Evan Carter recorded his 2nd outfield assist of this ALCS when Martin Maldonado was thrown out at 2nd base trying to advance in the 2nd inning last night (other assist in ALCS G1 at HOU)… Carter is the 1st Ranger ever with multiple OF assists in a single postseason, let alone a single postseason series…in fact, there have been just 4 other OF assists in Rangers postseason history, with Nelson Cruz (one in 2010, one in 2011) being the only other Ranger with multiple OF assists in the playoffs in a career.

  • Carter became the 12th rookie in MLB history with multiple OF assists in a single postseason and the 4th since 2000, joining Timo Perez (2000 NYM), Yasiel Puig (2013 LAD) and Andrew Toles (2016 LAD).

HARD HIT: Evan Carter’s double last night has an exit velocity of 109.2 mph, the hardest-hit ball of his brief MLB career (reg. season or postseason)…it was just the 5th-highest EV on a batted ball by a Ranger in this postseason, trailing only 3 from Adolis García (111.6/110.0/109.9) and one from Corey Seager (110.1)…it was the hardest-hit ball by any Ranger in this ALCS vs. HOU.

  • Carter has reached safely in each of the Rangers’ 8 games in this postseason.

HEAN DOG: Andrew Heaney is set for the 2nd start/3rd appearance in the postseason in his MLB career…he started the Rangers’ 3-2 win in ALDS G1 at BAL (3.2 IP, 1 R-ER) on Saturday, 10/7, which was his last game action… his will be the 1st postseason home game appearance in Heaney’s career, and his 1st action beyond the Division Series round.

SHORTS: With last night’s game, Globe Life Field has now hosted postseason games for the ALDS, NLDS, ALCS, NLCS, and World Series…RBI leaders for Texas in the ‘23 postseason: 8-Garver, 7-García/Jung, 4-Heim… Evan Carter’s 5 doubles are tied for MLB lead this postseason (also 5-PHI’s Trea Turner)…last night featured the 1st postseason appearances (in ‘23) for 4 different Rangers: Travis Jankowski, Chris Stratton, Jon Gray, and Martín Pérez…it was Stratton’s 1st career postseason action.

GAME 4 STARTING PITCHER – #44 Andrew Heaney, LHP (0-0, 2.45)

POSTSEASON: The 32-year-old southpaw is set to make his 2nd appearance/ start of the 2023 postseason tonight in Game 4 of the ALCS…made his 1st career postseason start in 2023 ALDS G1 at BAL (ND, 3.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R-ER, 1 BB, 1 SO)… has been included on Texas’ Wild Card, ALDS, and ALCS rosters, and has been available out of the bullpen throughout the 2023 postseason…Heaney made his 1st career postseason appearance in a 3.0-inning relief outing for the Dodgers in 2022 NLDS G3 at SD (ND, 3.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R-ER, 2 BB, 4 SO, 1 HR, 61 pitches/32 strikes)…surrendered solo HR to SD’s Trent Grisham in the 4th inn.

LAST START: Made his 1st career postseason start in Texas’ 3-2 victory in ALDS G1 at BAL on 10/7 (ND, 3.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R-ER, 1 BB, 1 SO, 56 pitches/36 strikes)… lone run allowed came on an RBI double by Ryan Mountcastle in the 4th…was lifted with 2 outs in the 4th in favor of Dane Dunning, who went on to earn the win (W, 2.0 IP, 1 R-ER, 1 BB, 1 SO)…both hits Heaney allowed came vs. right-handed batters (2-for-10, 2B, BB), as left-handed O’s hitters went 0-for-3 (one SO).

VS. HOUSTON: Heaney owns a lifetime 4-4 record and 3.35 ERA (30 ER/80.2 IP) over 15 games/starts against Houston, but has never faced the Astros in the playoffs…he went 1-0, 2.75 ERA (6 ER/19.2 IP) with 16 SO/11 BB in 4 games/ starts vs. HOU this season, the most starts against the Astros by any MLB pitcher in 2023…among pitchers with 3+ starts vs. HOU this season, Heaney’s 2.75 ERA ranked 2nd-lowest behind only SEA’s Bryce Miller (2.20 in 3 GS)…he last faced the Astros in a start here at Globe Life Field on 9/4 vs. HOU (ND, 4.2 IP, 5 H, 3 R-ER, 4 BB, 1 SO), taking no decision in a 13-6 Texas defeat.

IN ARLINGTON: Heaney has gone 7-5, 4.45 ERA (46 ER/93.0 IP) in 21 games/18 starts in his career at Globe Life Field, ranking among the venue’s all-time leaders (including postseason) in starts (5th, 18), wins (T5th, 7), and strikeouts (6th, 98)… Heaney in 19 G/16 GS in Arlington this season: 7-3, 4.06 ERA (38 ER/84.1 IP), 90 SO/39 BB, 10 HR (1.07 HR/9)…his 7 home wins this season were T7th-most in the A.L. and matched Dane Dunning (7-2) for the staff lead…Heaney went 6-3, 4.38 ERA (38 ER/78.0 IP) in his 16 starts at home in 2023, incl. 3-0, 2.55 (10 ER/35.1 IP) across his last 7 starts here after the beginning of July.

2023: Combined to go 10-6 with a 4.15 ERA (68 ER/147.1 IP) over 34 G/28 GS in his 1st season with Texas after signing with the club as a free agent on 12/9/22… opened campaign as a member of the starting rotation before transitioning to relief role in early September…earned a career-high 10 wins (prev. 9 in 2018), and his 147.1 IP were the 2nd-most of his career (180.0 in 2018 w/ LAA)…led all Rangers pitchers with 151 SO, finishing the season ranked among A.L. hurlers (min. 140.0 IP) in SO/9 (13th, 9.22) and SO pct. (19th, 23.6%).

WHIFF DOCTOR: Led all Rangers with 151 strikeouts in the regular season, the 2nd-highest whiff total of his career (180 in 2018 w/ LAA)…he ranked among A.L. pitchers (min. 140.0 IP) in SO/9 (13th, 9.22) and SO pct. (19th, 23.6%)…that marked the 10th-highest strikeouts per 9.0 inning figure ever recorded by a Rangers pitcher in a single season (min. 140.0 IP), last topped by Lance Lynn in 2019 (10.63)…it was also the highest SO/9 ever posted by a TEX left-hander (min. 140.0 IP), surpassing the previous record of 8.97 set by Cole Hamels in 2016…the only left-handed pitchers in MLB to register a higher SO/9 while reaching those innings totals in 2023: SD’s Blake Snell (11.70), MIA’s Jesus Luzardo (10.48), LAA’s Reid Detmers (10.17), and TOR’s Yusei Kikuchi (9.72).

AS STARTER: Was the 5th starter in Texas’s season-opening starting rotation and went 9-6, 4.22 ERA (62 ER/132.1 IP) in 27 starts before moving to bullpen in early September…made one additional start in team’s final regular season series on 9/30 at SEA (4.1 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 SO)…opponents batted .252/.332/.437/.769 (132-524) with 22 HR (1.45 HR/9) in his starts…received 101 R in support of his efforts as a starter, good for a 6.28 RSA which ranked 7th in the A.L. (min. 20 GS)…surrendered 7 R-ER over 2.2 IP in Rangers debut on 4/4 vs. BAL, but was 4-2, 2.75 (16 ER/52.1 IP) in next 9 starts to lower season ERA from 23.63 to 3.76…went 5-3, 4.30 ERA (39 ER/81.2 IP) across final 18 starts (beg. 6/3) to rise slightly from 3.76 to 4.08.

AS RELIEVER: Went 1-0, 5.06 ERA (6 ER/10.2 IP) over 6 relief app. in Sept., recording 14 SO (11.81 SO/9) against just 5 BB…opp. batted .244/.333/.467/.800 (11-45) with one HR in his relief outings…blew save in lone save opp. on 9/19 vs. BOS (0.1 IP, 1 R-ER), a 6-4 TEX win…earned win in 1st relief app. of ’23 on 9/10 vs. OAK (W, 3.2 IP, 0 R, 1 BB, 6 SO)…logged 2.0 IP in 3 of his 6 app. out of the bullpen…Heaney is 2-2, 5.45 ERA (20 ER/33.0 IP) in 17 career outings as a reliever in the regular season.

STREAKING STRIKEOUTS: Earned win in 2nd start as a Ranger on 4/10 vs. KC, recording strikeouts of 9 consecutive batters faced from the 1st through 4th innings…9 straight SO’s were the most successive SO’s by a pitcher in TEX history, snapping single-game record of 7 set by Nolan Ryan on 7/7/91 vs. LAA and overall high of 8 done by Joe Barlow from 7/24-8/2/21…according to Elias Sports Bureau, it matched the A.L. record for successive strikeouts, as he became just 3rd A.L. pitcher to do it…the others: DET’s Tyler Alexander on 8/2/20 vs. CIN-G1, and DET’s Doug Fister on 9/27/12 vs. KC…recorded 10 total SO during the game, his 18th career double-digit SO game (last 10 on 8/24/22 vs. MIL w/ LAD).

MISCELLANEOUS: Opponents batted .251/.332/.439/.772 (143-569) with 23 HR, the most HR allowed by any Texas pitcher this season…49 of 74 runs allowed came in 1st (13), 2nd (14), and 3rd (22) innings…opp. BA/OPS by time through lineup: 1st (.257/.778), 2nd (.223/.688), 3rd (.310/.973)…career-best 15.2 consecutive SHO IP from 7/26-8/6…posted season-high 11 SO on 8/1 vs. CWS (W, 6.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 11 SO, 80 pitches/55 strikes)…was 19th career 10+ SO G, 2nd in ‘23 (also 10 SO on 4/10 vs. KC)…became just 3rd TEX pitcher ever with 2-or-fewer H, zero BB, and 11+ SO in a start, joining Yu Darvish on 4/2/13 at HOU (8.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 14 SO) and Matt Perisho on 10/3/99 at LAA (6.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 12 SO)…posted 5.0 SHO IP in 1st 2 starts vs. HOU (4/16 at HOU; 7/2 vs. HOU) and took no decision in both outings…earned 1st road win of season on 5/27 at BAL (W, 7.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R-ER), posting lone ultra-quality start…was on Paternity List (7/4-6) for birth of twin daughters.

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